The Corellian corvette hung silently in the blackness of space. It had been a few hours since the explosion that disabled the engines, stranding Kyp Durron and the platoon of New Republic troops that it carried.
Kyp had scouted the nearby space in his X-Wing, and was unable to find anything on his sensors. No enemy ships waiting behind asteroids, no voids in the Force to signify that the Vong were near, no signs of life. At all.
Just a lone spacecraft, adrift in the void.
Kyp stood over the shoulder of a technical officer, observing the controls, anticipating any sign, any sort of activity. Nothing.
"Lieutenant, I'm going to go to my quarters and meditate, see if I can come up with some answer to this nonsense. Keep trying to reach Coruscant, and give them our coordinates, if we are ever able to figure out where we are. The last thing we need is for this crew to turn into a replica of C'boath and the Clone Troopers from back in the Old Republic days. Keep me updated on anything that happens, even if it seems trivial."
Without waiting for the officer to respond, Kyp spun on his heel and walked away, briskly making his way to his quarters, running one hand through his shoulder length brown hair.
The timing had to be perfect. Fortunately, the Bith piloting the small, box-shaped shuttle was never wrong.
The ship streaked through hyperspace, heading to the New Republic ship. Tenebrous's math had turned out perfect, as usual. The engines exploded right as the ship was going through an incredibly remote part of the galaxy, in an area where communications were almost always lost, due to some unprecedented gravitational waves, so strong that they could even disrupt hyperspace communications.
If all went according to plan, Tenebrous would emerge from hyperspace so close to the corvette, and decelerate so rapidly, that he could both surprise the Republic ship, and plow into the ship and board it, without destroying either ship.
With Tenebrous, it always went according to plan.
Tenebrous put up the strongest Force barrier that he could muster, and braced himself for impact, lightsaber in hand.
Kyp Durron was startled out of his meditative state by a massive jolt, nearly knocking the powerful Jedi onto his back.
In the air, his ignited lightsaber, three incredibly dense metal balls, a perfectly spherical ball of water, and his pet Kowakian monkey lizard had been floating. With his meditation disrupted, the monkey lizard fell across his lightsaber blade, cutting the semi-sentient creature in half, and the ball of water collapsed onto his head.
Shaking his head, and himself, back into reality, Kyp starred mournfully at the corpse of his pet.
"Not again," he moaned, as he climbed to his feet, using the Force to call his lightsaber back to his hand.
Racing out of his quarters and into the hallway, Kyp joined the dozens of Republic troops that were rushing down the narrow corridors of the Corellian corvette.
"What happened?" Kyp demanded of the closest soldier to himself.
"Another ship just crashed into us, right at the outer airlock. We think we're being boarded."
"Alright, then, we're about to have some answers," Kyp said, mostly to himself.
They rounded the corner, coming to the airlock, and came face to face with a tall, armored Bith, wearing what appeared to be a respirator. It was hard to tell in the low light.
Kyp was still able to spy a lightsaber hilt in the hand of the menacing figure, and immediately ignited his blade, a violet glow illuminating his face.
Three meters away, the Bith ignited his own red blade, and electricity crackled in his left palm.
"Drop your weapon!" demanded the soldier that Kyp had spoken to a few moments before.
Before anyone could react, the soldiers weapon turned one hundred and eighty degrees and fired, burning a hole through the man's throat. He collapsed instantly.
"Now, we will have some fun," the Sith said, the respirator causing his voice to sound even more menacing than normal.
"Everyone get back!" Kyp cried out, but it was too late. Darth Tenebrous subtly waved his hand, and planted himself in the Force. The ship temporarily broke free of it's position, and opened the hallway up to the vacuum of space.
Cries of terror followed the soldiers out of the ragged hole, and then silence as Tenebrous sealed the exit once again. Now, it was only Tenebrous, Kyp, and an empty hallway littered with blaster rifles.
Kyp glanced down at the carbines, and then back up at the armored Sith ahead of him.
"You were wise enough to plant yourself in the Force. Good. Your instincts are well honed. You will be valuable as an apprentice, should you choose to join me, and if you survive this test."
"I've been to the dark side once, and I'm never going back. And you just murdered my men. Time for me to return the favor."
"Revenge is not the Jedi way," replied Tenebrous with glee, leaping through the air at Kyp.
Bracing himself, Kyp brought his blade up to defend against the inevitable Falling Avalanche attack, but quickly changed his strategy and performed a quick back flip as Tenebrous landed in front of him and slashed at his ankles.
Before Kyp had even landed, Tenebrous lashed out with a powerful Force push that sent the Jedi flying into a wall, knocking the wind out of him.
Kyp landed, shook his head, and quickly rose to his feet, lightsaber in his right hand, rubbing his bruised chest with his left.
Without much time to recover, Kyp was once again on the defensive, as Tenebrous rushed him, surgical strikes from his lightsaber just barely missing Kyp's Jedi robes.
This guy is good. Really good.
Tenebrous swung at Kyp's head, and instead of blocking, Kyp went under the strike, keeping his body close to the Bith, and used his elbow to strike the massive cranium of his foe.
Stars exploded in Tenebrous's bulbous eyes as his fell forward, barely avoiding the backswing of Kyp's lightsaber. Regaining his composure, he turned back and faced Kyp once more, mentally deciding to change his style up a bit. It was obvious that this Jedi was skilled, even more so than he expected.
"Your Ataru is impressive, but the real question is, can you adapt?"
Kyp narrowed his eyes as his prepared for the onslaught, and was surprised when the Force lightning enveloped him.
Pain that he never knew could exist overwhelmed his body. Every muscle began to spasm, and no air entered his lungs. For a moment, he was trapped, only able to think.
Calling on the Force, tapping into reserves that he never knew existed, he began to absorb the deadly energy, until Tenebrous finally stopped his attack.
With the energy dissipated, Kyp stood, battle ready once again, though his entire body felt as though he had gone through a three day training cycle with Luke.
"Not...bad..." Kyp said with ragged breaths.
Behind his mask, Tenebrous smiled, and sent forth another powerful burst, though this blast was caught on Kyp's blade, which Kyp held with one hand. With the other, he simply wagged his finger in a "no-no" gesture, and then launched a powerful telekinetic attack of his own.
The blast hit Tenebrous full force and sent him skidding back several meters, though he remained standing. Frowning, Kyp launched another blast, though this one was batted away by Tenebrous, who had now extinguished his lightsaber and ceased his Force lightning. The halls of the ship were beginning to look like a bomb had been detonated.
Using the Force to amplify his speed, Kyp made an attempt to speed blitz the Bith, but was astonished to find the Sith Lord match his speed.
Their blades clashed briefly in an "x" shaped pattern, before sliding past each other. Tenebrous followed through with a spinning slash, but Kyp blocked the attack with a spin of his own, and came face to face with his opponent once more, with Tenebrous in an overhead strike and Kyp sweeping up from below.
The blade-lock was brief, as Kyp head-butted Tenebrous in one of the Sith's large, vulnerable eyes.
Blood spashed all over Kyp as the eye burst in it's socket. Tenebrous fell back with a muffled scream, thanks to his respirator.
Though Tenebrous was incapacitated for the moment, so was Kyp, as he nearly gave himself a concussion from the force of the strike. When the stars finally cleared from his vision, he found that Tenebrous was standing upright, and was charging him once again.
Now Kyp was on the defensive. The Bith moved faster than he could have ever expected, and seemingly changed lightsaber forms every few seconds. The acrobatic and physically offensive Ataru form left Kyp was a bloody nose and a chunk of his thick, brown hair missing. The Force-based attacks of Niman resulted in Kyp dodging not just Tenebrous's blade, but his lightning and telekinetic attacks as well.
The moment finally came, after several minutes of back and forth between the two skilled masters.
Tenebrous was beginning to tire, Kyp could tell. The dark side gave Tenebrous immense power, but it could not wash away fatigue the same way that the light side could.
One sloppy move by Tenebrous. A simple thrust, one that the Sith had used dozens of times during the course of the fight, but this time, this time Kyp was a little bit faster. A slight dodge to the left, a quick swipe to the right, and Tenebrous's hand fell free from his body, still holding the lightsaber.
Tenebrous hissed as he fell back, clutching his stump. Fury crackled through the Force, and as Kyp began to swing down to quickly end the fight, his danger sense flared.
Parrying just in time, Kyp deflected the blaster bolt down the hallway, looking for the new attacker. To his surprise, a blaster carbine floated in the air, aimed directly at Kyp. Slowly, the remaining rifles raised as well, and all began to fire.
Over twenty barrels unleashed their lethal barrages of plasma at the Jedi, as he frantically blocked and dodged. Allowing himself just a brief moment, Kyp spied that Tenebrous was having to concentrate especially hard on maintaining the level of fire.
Tenebrous didn't have to keep this up forever, but he didn't have to. All it would take is just one bolt.
Kyp winced as a stray blast grazed his arm, but he did not slow down. He kept going. Finally, a blaster exploded, having become super-heated from the sustained rate of fire.
That's it. If I can just last a little bit longer, I can outlast the blasters themselves.
Blaster after blaster began to self-destruct, the overwhelming heat of being fired repeatedly causing them to overload.
With only a few blasters, remaining, Kyp allowed himself to feel confident about victory once more. He returned the last few bolts directly to their sources, detonating the blasters. He stood triumphantly over the Sith, feeling the rush of victory.
"Any last words?"
"Arrogance blinds you," replied Tenebrous.
The blaster that had been behind Kyp the entire time went off. The bolt burned into Kyp's back, slightly to the right of his spine, but still missing his vitals.
With a scream, Kyp fell forward. The entire right side of his body went numb from the pain. Helplessly, he watched Tenebrous tower over him, lightsaber ignited.
"Wait!" Kyp cried out. "Wait."
Tenebrous held his lightsaber with his remaining hand at his side, lit, but not poised for a killing blow.
"What will it take to become your apprentice?"
The Sith chuckled. "Good, you see that you still have much to learn. You are skilled, master Jedi, but you are arrogant. Let go of your arrogance, embrace your hate, and swear yourself to me."
"That sounds like something I can do," Kyp said.
"Or, I can do this."
Suddenly, the metal floor beneath Kyp completely enveloped him, ripping free from the bolts and welds that held it together, surrounding him in a metal cocoon.
"What?!" exclaimed Tenebrous.
A groan of metal was the last sound heard in the Correlian corvette, as Kyp used the Force to rip the ship in half, separating the remaining, undamaged part of the vessel that still contained the remaining crew from the portion that had been heavily damaged.
The lifeless body of Tenebrous floated in the vacuum of space, next to the metal cocoon that housed the great Jedi Master Kyp Durron, who remained in a meditative state to preserve the little oxygen that he had managed to trap inside as well.
"I win," Kyp said softly, and then passed out.